This article engages with the currently hegemonic status of a triad of water policy prescriptions: multi-stakeholder platforms, integrated water resources management, and river basin management. A more reflective approach that opens up the choices underlying these concepts, and their limits, is needed. The choice to manage water on the basis of river basins is a political choice, and thus river basins are as much political units as they are natural units. The article concludes that the delineation of river basin boundaries, the structuring of stakeholder representation, and the creation of institutional arrangements for river basin management are political processes that revolve around matters of choice, and hence require democratic debate.

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